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About beccaspt

Content creator for SERVPRO of Tustin, a leader in the emergency service and restoration industry.

5 Common Causes of Water Damage in Orange County

common causes of water damage

Unlike other parts of the country, rain isn’t the main cause of water damage in homes and other buildings in Orange County. Get to know some of the common causes of water damage so that you can do what you can to prevent it from happening on your property.

  1. Broken Pipes – A broken pipe can do a lot of damage to your home in just a short amount of time. Before you know it, gallons short amount of time. Before you know of water could be spewing through your home. Pay close attention to any leaks, drips, and signs of deterioration. Have a plumber come out to your house for regular maintenance, and if there ever is a broken pipe, you can always turn the water off before the plumber arrives in order to avoid further damage.
  2. Pinhole Leaks – common if a home has copper plumbing, a pinhole leak is a puncture of a copper pipe due to corrosion. If your home has a copper water system, check your pipes for signs of corrosion often.
  3. Old/Faulty Appliances – If you’re fridge or washing machines aren’t maintained well, or have gotten too old, they could start to leak and create a significant amount of water damage in your home. It’s especially important to keep an eye on the appliances in your kitchen, as water damage caused by your fridge or dish washer can affect not just your floor, but your cabinets as well. Often times, leaks that go undetected for some time will cause significant water damage behind cabinets, which in turn can lead to mold if the problem goes unnoticed for an extended period.
  4. Roof Leaks – We don’t typically see much rain here in Southern California, but when we do, a lot of homeowners tend to suffer water damage due to roof leaks. Check your roofs frequently and take care of any maintenance or repairs while the weather is still sunny. That way you won’t have to worry about your home flooding next time a storm hits.
  5. Accidents – Sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and one tiny mistake can lead to a big problem. A clogged toilet or too much soap in the dishwasher or washing machine can have water coming across your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. These parts of the home are generally better equipped than the rest of the house to handle a larger spill, but water moves fast and could potentially cause damage to the walls, ceiling, or other rooms in the home. If an accident ever does occur that you think calls for a professional, call SERVPRO of Tustin and we’ll make it like it never even happened!

(714)480-1340

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Filed under Property Managers, Tustin Community, water damage

7 Awesome Apps You Should Download To Make Your Life Easier

Download these apps

Whether it’s managing multiple properties, or taking care of everyone at home, we could all use a little help sometimes; that’s why we LOVE these apps that were designed to make life just a little bit easier. The best part about all of these apps? They’re all available to download for FREE!

  1. Evernote: Dubbing itself “your second brain,”, Evernote is an app that will collect, organize, and share notes from anywhere. You can collect all of your notes in one place and easily search for them in the app. You can also use Evernote’s various features to enhance your notes with tables, links, checklists, etc. It’s a perfect app for de-cluttering. It’s even available on your computer with a Google login.
  2. Habitica: It’s a task manager that turns your tasks into games! Habitica lets you input your habits, daily goals, and your to-do list. You even get to create a custom avatar! You earn points and “level-up” as you check off tasks and eventually earn in game or custom made rewards (like watching an episode of your favorite show) as you complete more tasks.
  3. Venmo: Don’t have cash? That’s ok! Venmo lets you share money instantly and securely with friends via the app. You can also request money from a friend as a way to remind them about any money they owe you. You can connect your contacts and Facebook account to find friends more easily. All you have to do is connect your bank account so that you can send and receive money. An money you are sent in the app is saved in your Venmo account, and you can cash it out to your regular bank any time (if you have money in your Venmo account, then it will pull from that first when you pay someone).
  4. Square Cash: It’s basically the same as Venmo but a different app. Some people prefer Square Cash to Venmo, so it’s good to have both apps so you can connect with all of your friends.
  5. Keelo: We’re all busy, which means it can be difficult to find time to work out. Keelo creates completely custom workouts that are perfect you (no matter what the skilltype), and they’re all under 20 minutes!
  6. Cozi Family Organizer: This app will let you store everyone’s activities and appointments in one place, create and share shopping lists and chores in real time, store recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list, and more! It’s the perfect app for busy families – keeping everyone on the same page.
  7. SERVPRO Ready Plan: Whether you’re an owner or a property manager (commercial or residential), the SERVPRO Ready Plan app allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your home or business. The ERP helps you to prepare for the worst and compiles a list of all your emergency contacts for your home or business. You can also add your favorite local SERVPRO Franchise (SERVPRO of Tustin) so that you can call us with just the push of a button.

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Filed under Emergency tips, Owners, Property Managers, summer, Tech, Tustin Community

The Summer Heat May Be Affecting Your Home’s Appliances

Appliances in the heat

You know those hot summer days when you can feel the sun sucking away your energy? Well, the same thing can happen to your household appliances during the summer too. When the weather gets hot, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect the systems and appliances in your home.

The higher temperatures outside can create a buildup of moisture on your appliances inside. This extra moisture can cause appliances to degrade faster, and can potentially cause electrical shocks. Appliances can also sweat, causing water to settle around cords and wires. It can also flood the interior of the system, which can potentially lead to mold.

You also must be wary of your appliances overheating. Appliances may have higher surface temperatures, and can lose function when overheated, or require more electricity to work properly. Most appliances use more energy during summer months because they have to work even harder to maintain a cool temperature themselves.

AC Units often have to work harder in the summer because in addition to cooling your home, they also work to remove moisture from the air. Consider installing a dehumidifier with your HVAC system, or using one in rooms where it gets hottest. The dehumidifier can remove moisture from the air and allow the Air Conditioner to work solely on cooling your home.

You should also maintain regular cleaning/maintenance of your unit’s filters and coils in order to ensure that it is working properly. The same should go for your fridge/freezer. Dirty coils can lead to overheating, which could leave you without an AC unit or a fridge.

Your fridge should also be kept somewhere cool (avoid hot garages). Once you find the right place for your fridge, be sure to give it ample breathing room. The fridge needs enough room to release heat, but you don’t want that heat to become trapped and cause the unit to overheat and stop working.

You should maintain regular upkeep and maintenance of all of your household appliances all year long, but it’s especially important to be mindful of how they can be affected in this summer heat. Should you require emergency services, call SERVPRO of Tustin 24/7 at 714-480-1340

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Filed under Emergency tips, fire safety, water damage

No AC? No Problem! 9 Hacks for Staying Cool This Summer

SERVPRO of Tustin

9 hacks for staying cool Blog title

It’s hard getting through these Southern California Summers without any air conditioning. Luckily for us, generations before us had to suffer through the heat before air conditioning was even invented and left us with some tried and true methods for staying cool all summer long!

  1. Turn off electronics when not in use. When electronics are turned on, they are producing heat. If you have electronics that you don’t use very often plugged in or turned on, keep them unplugged and/or turned off to keep them producing even more heat in your home. You can save some money on your electricity bill too!
  2. Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan. While it’s important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good to have a fan blowing cool air on you. If you’re really desperate to cool down, place a bowl…

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No AC? No Problem! 9 Hacks for Staying Cool This Summer

9 hacks for staying cool Blog title

It’s hard getting through these Southern California Summers without any air conditioning. Luckily for us, generations before us had to suffer through the heat before air conditioning was even invented and left us with some tried and true methods for staying cool all summer long!

  1. Turn off electronics when not in use. When electronics are turned on, they are producing heat. If you have electronics that you don’t use very often plugged in or turned on, keep them unplugged and/or turned off to keep them producing even more heat in your home. You can save some money on your electricity bill too!
  2. Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan. While it’s important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good to have a fan blowing cool air on you. If you’re really desperate to cool down, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan to make the air even cooler.
  3. Switch to sheets that’ll keep you cool. Lightweight cotton and linen sheets are perfect for hot summers. They’re breathable fabrics, perfect for promoting ventilation and airflow in your bedroom.
  4. Freeze your sheets. If that’s still not enough to keep you cool during those hot summer nights, try sticking your sheets in the freezer. A few minutes before you get ready for bed, put your sheets in a plastic bag and put them in the fridge or freezer. This obviously won’t last all night, but it could be enough to keep you cool while you fall asleep.
  5. Avoid the stove and the oven. Summer is the perfect time to explore more room temperature meals (like a salad). Cooking with heat when it’s already hot out and there’a no AC Unit to cool you down can turn your home into a life-size oven! If you get the itch to bake, try some no-bake cookies and ice box cake recipes!
  6. Hang a wet sheet in front of the window. Grab an extra bed sheet and mist it. Then hang it in front of an open window. When a breeze or gust of wind comes through, it will create a cooling effect on your home.
  7. You can also cover your windows to keep the hot sun out. California sun is strong, so sometimes it’s best to keep the blinds or curtains drawn in the afternoons when the sun is strongest. If you still want to take advantage of natural lighting, try shutters or blinds that can block some of the light while still letting some through.
  8. Replace incandescent light bulbs. Not only are they costing you more on your energy bill, they’re making your home hotter. Make the switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs.
  9. Spend time outside. Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. Even if it’s hot out, it may feel nicer to be outside than in a stuffy home that has no AC. Outdoor activities on or near the beach can be a good way to cool down a bit and enjoy the ocean breeze!

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Filed under summer, Tustin Community

Tips For Preventing Water Damage in Your Apartment Community

With so many shared walls and spaces, water damage in an apartment community can get messy pretty quickly. Of course you can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be ahead of the game. Take these measures today to prevent water damage tomorrow.

  1. Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
  2. Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rain storm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
  3. Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.
  4. Clear Downspouts Consistently – This is especially important if there are a lot of large trees throughout your apartment community. When leaves, branches, and other debris clog the gutters, the risk of flooding is increased. Clear all debris from the gutters frequently. If you know a storm is about to hit, make sure everything is clear and that water is being effectively carried away from the building.
  5. Apply Dry-Proofing Methods – One cost effective way to prevent large scale water damage in low-lying areas is to apply waterproofing coatings and sealings. You can also elevate electrical equipment at least three feet off of the floor and install waterproof structures around circuits and electrical breakers.
  6. Check For HVAC System Blockages – If the line that moves condensation from the HVAC system is backed up, it can create serious water damage. Backed up water can seep through ceilings and through light fixtures or in between walls. When water leaks between walls, it can go undetected and result in mold damage in addition to water damage.

Of course, in the unfortunate event that water damage does affect your community, call SERVPRO of Tustin for fast response and services.

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Filed under Apartments, Commercial Loss, Property Managers, Tustin Community, water damage, water removal

How To Keep Your Pets Safe When There’s A Fire

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year. Many house fires are caused by pets, especially when left home alone. Read over these tips to help prevent any accidental fire started by your pets and for keeping your pets safe in the event there is a fire in your home. Make sure you include your dog, cat, or other pets in your family’s emergency plan.

Pet-Fire850

Prevent Your Pets From Starting A Fire

    • Beware of candles and other open flames. Dogs are curious creatures and may take interest in a flickering flame. If you do have any open flames in your home at any time, be sure to never leave them unattended and to keep an eye on your pets. If you’re using a fireplace, consider getting a fireplace screen to protect pets when sleeping in front of the fire. Also make sure the fire is completely out before heading out or going to bed. Small sparks and coals can get through a screen and result in a fire.
    • Secure wires and cords. Pets are often tempted to chew on loose wires and cords. Exposed wires can be a fire hazard, so consider securing any electrical objects so that their cords are out of reach.
    • Don’t use glass bowls for your pets’ water. When filtered and heated through glass, the sun’s rays can ignite the wood beneath the bowl and set a deck in flames. Try using a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead.

 

Keep Your Pets Safe After/During A Fire

    • Place a pet fire sticker on the door or window. In the event of a fire when you’re away, having a pet sticker will help rescuers know how many pets to look for, saving valuable time and hopefully your pets.
    • Use monitored smoke detectors. Pets left home alone can’t escape on their own when there’s a fire. Monitored smoke detectors contact emergency responders when you’re not home and add an extra layer of protection beyond that of battery-operated smoke alarms.
    • Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from home. Keep collars (with ID tags) on your pets at all times and leave leashes by the entrance or somewhere easy to find in an emergency. This will help firefighters to find and rescue your pets when they arrive.
    • Know where your pets’ hiding spots are. It’s important that you can find your pets quickly if there’s a fire. Know where your pets like to sleep and especially where they like to go when they are scared or anxious (under the bed or hidden in a quiet corner of the house somewhere)
    • Have an emergency plan in place and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of a fire. Know who will be in charge of getting your pets outside safely. Have someone in charge of leashes and pet carriers so that they can be safely secured once you’re outside. In the event that you can’t find your pet when exiting, leave doors and windows open on your way out and call to them so that they come out on their own.
    • Practice fire drills with your pets. It is important to include your pets in the family fire drills. Practice finding them and getting out of the house. Also practice the “open access” scenario where you leave an exit open (preferably the one they’re most comfortable with) and call to them to come out of the home. The more you practice, the more likely they are to come out in the event of an actual fire.

Yellow Lab by Fire Place

If you have any questions or require restoration services due to fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Tustin at (714)480-1340. Our crews are available 24/7 for services.

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Filed under Emergency tips, Fire Damage Restoration, fire safety, Owners